How to plan a successful northern lights adventure
The northern lights are of the most spectacular sights in the world, and few phenomena capture your imagination in such a way. Northern lights watching is on everyone’s bucket lists these days. The question is how to plan your trip smart to get the most out of your holiday.
1) Choose the best TIME TO travel
The northern lights at Svalbard can appear on a clear sky from September to March.
2) Head north to experience THE GREEN and purple lights
The northern lights dance mostly at high latitudes. Svalbard is one of the few places on earth where you can observe northern lights during the daytime. From mid-November until February, you can not really tell the difference between day and night. This time of year offers the perfect settings for observing the lights.
3) spare enough time for your adventure
When you arrive in Longyearbyen, you want to stay as long as possible for the best chance to see the northern lights. The biggest challenges you will meet are the weather and the solar activity during your stay. Both factors are unpredictable and more time at the destination will increase your chances to see the northern lights.
4) Pack your bag for a cold winter night
Keep warm for the whole northern lights show. If you go inside to warm up, you can bet the northern lights dance across the sky the seconds you are inside. In Norway, we have a saying “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” We dress in layers and always use wool. Our packing tips:
- Spacious shoes with room for two layers of woolen socks. Air is the best insulation!
- Two layers of woolen underwear as base layers.
- A woolen sweater, fleece jacket or light down jacket and pants are excellent mid layers.
- The outer layer shall protect you from the strong cold wind.
- On cold winter days, a thicker down jacket or parka will make you the winner in crisp air.
- Warm buff for your neck, warm and windproof or lined hat, warm and windproof mittens or gloves.
- If you want to take photos it is essential to have a pair of thinner gloves to care for your fingers.
5) Plan SEVERAL activities and excursions
Svalbard has more to offer than solely seeing the northern lights. We can never guarantee that you will see the lights, but you are for sure looking forward to a different kind of holiday. Design a program with excursions, sightseeing, shopping, nice restaurants and spare some time to relax at your charming holiday home, Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen. This will ensure that you go home with excitement to come back and explore more of the Arctic.
6) Book a northern lights tour
Longyearbyen is situated in the Arctic wilderness. You can not go outside the city centre by yourself without knowledge about the nature, climate and how to protect yourself from polar bears. There are nice places to have a look out for the northern lights in Longyearbyen, and when joining a tour you will experience even more of the characteristics that makes us love living in the Arctic.
7) Our favourite northern lights activities
Photos are shared from Ramon Lucas Photography, taken on his 3-days snowmobile safari to Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel in March 2018. Trip arrangements by Basecamp Explorer and Norge Reiser.